Thursday, April 02, 2015

Re: "The Earth is getting GREENER: Researchers reveal huge expansion in world's trees"

A comment from Hans Schreuder

A quote from the Daily Mail: "The 4-billion-tonne increase is minuscule compared to the 60 billion tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and cement production over the same period, said Yi Liu, the study's lead author and a scientist at the University of New South Wales."

Just wanted to point out that the atmosphere holds about 3,000 billion tonnes of CO2 in it, so the 60-odd billion from human activities might sound impressive, but it's only 2% of Nature's efforts.

See Here for  a graph I made years ago

That 2% figure correlates well with the UN IPCC's own estimates.

Human activity puts only a few percentage points of CO2 into the air, yet those few extra billion tonnes are causing global warming ....??!!

As per your PSI quoted article, which in turn quoted a BBC article, there's plenty "fossil fuel" on Titan, so maybe one day the penny will drop that earth will never run out of them as it's produced 24/7/365 and fossils have nothing to do with it.

We live in a crazy world, to be sure!

Via email

Don't be an April 'Earth Month' Fool

By Alan Caruba

The annual calendar is filled with days and months designated for the purpose of calling attention to some event, personality, or cause. The U.S. celebrates the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington that fall close together. There’s Mother’s and Father’s Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day, Valentine’s, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas.

But who decided that April was “Earth Month” or that April 22 is “Earth Day”?

Why are we expected to worship the planet that was here billions of years before we showed up and will likely be here long after we manage to destroy ourselves with cataclysmic wars. And it is worship that is at the heart of these two events. That alone should tell you how essentially pagan they are.

This Earth Month will celebrate its 45th anniversary, having begun in 1970 and, not surprisingly, its theme is “Our planet in peril.” Our planet is not in peril. It’s been around for 4.5 billion years and short of a rogue asteroid or our getting sucked into a black hole, the planet will be around several billions of years more. The galaxy in which we live is relatively predictable and stable, so the notion that the Earth is in peril borders on idiocy.

Well, idiocy, if you think that it is in peril from us, the human species. This is at the core of the environmental mindset. It appears that merely using the Earth as a place to live is reason enough to hold us responsible for everything that naturally occurs to it.

Environmentalists do not like the human race and will not hesitate to tell you there are too many of us. They do what they can to reduce the population through disease by, for example, banning DDT and any other chemicals that protect us from insect and rodent pests that are major vectors for the transmission of disease.

According to the 2015 Earth Month Network, Inc. announcement “There are literally hundreds of problems and issues plaguing our global environment, i.e., climate change, global warming and their effects; and the continuation of polluting our delicate ecosystem just to mention a few.”

Which is it? Climate change or global warming? There hasn’t been any dramatic global warming in the past 19 years during which the planet has been in a natural cooling cycle, along with the Sun which we depend upon to warm us. So anyone claiming the Earth is warming is blowing smoke up your skirt.

As for climate change, that has always been occurring. Short term it’s called the four seasons. Long term it takes the form of ice ages, major glaciations that have occurred every 140 million years, and other eras such as the Great Permian Extinction, the largest in Earth’s history that wiped out an estimated 95% of every kind of life-form on Earth. It was one of four mass extinctions over the course of the 3.5 billion years that life has existed on Earth. Remember the mammoths? They died a mere 11,500 years ago.

Last year, the Earth Month theme was “Returning to Nature.” Do you really want to return to nature? No electricity. No shelter other than a nice cave. No food except for the animals or fish you would have to catch for dinner. No vegetables or fruits except those you could find wherever you lived. That’s right, no supermarkets! And, if you want to go anywhere, you will have to walk.

Yes, nature sounds wonderful and, in its own way, is wonderful, but the human species has devoted a great deal of time to finding ways to survive it.

I was reminded that April was Earth Month when I received an email from the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa which said this Connecticut site was “excited to offer a special package to honor Earth Day.” It is “a Certified Green Hotel” and you will be treated to a “unique Ecotourism Getaway” that provides an “environmentally friendly stay without sacrificing comfort.” Why would you want to pay them for their special package if it didn’t include comfort and lots of it? Mostly what Saybrook Point wants is your money, just like any other perfectly ordinary inn and spa that isn’t “certified.”

One can be confident that we are going to be regaled with all manner of “environmental” messages and events throughout April, all of which have the same theme: the Earth is in danger from YOU!

Do yourself a favor. Ignore them. Get in your car and go where you want. Go to the supermarket and don’t worry about the plastic packaging or the plastic bags. Set the temperature in your home or apartment to a level of comfort that you like. It’s your life and you pay good money to benefit from all the conveniences of modern life.

Let’s appreciate the Earth, not worship it.

Environmentalism is one of the great scams of the modern era. Its emphasis on “renewable energy” has been a huge, expensive failure. Its claims of disappearing forests are bogus and its demands for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will only harm all vegetation everywhere. The Earth needs CO2 in the same way you and all other living creatures need oxygen.

Let’s celebrate mankind’s mastery of the Earth in the form of agriculture, ranching, sophisticated shelters from the log cabin to the skyscraper, the channeling of rivers to produce energy and the technology that provides clean water for us. And, yes, manufacturing. You can’t even imagine what the world was like before the discovery of coal, oil, and natural gas.

The Earth is not in peril, only the truth and common sense are.


Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness

Its ideas would send the West back 100 years and keep poor nations impoverished and wretched

Ross McKitrick

A few years ago, a journalist asked me for my thoughts on the importance of “Earth Hour” – which was reprised this past weekend. What I told him applies today, perhaps even more so.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as on the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of safe hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the Third World should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the West developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that. Instead, I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness.

By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation, it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining and enjoying the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there, too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply. If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations. No thanks.

I like visiting nature, but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick is Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.

 Via email

Differences between Real Science and Man Made Global Warming Science

There are at least a dozen differences between man-made global warming (AGW) and real science. While science follows a defined scientific method, AGW uses political campaign tools like polls, demonizing opposition, scare tactics, deception, and propaganda.

    Real science says "Question everything".  AGW says "Questioning AGW is reckless because it threatens the planet."

    Real science never ends, but is an ongoing cycle of testing and correction. AGW tries to break that cycle by claiming "the debate is over" and "the science is settled". "SETTLED SCIENCE" IS AN OXYMORON invented by non-scientist Al Gore to avoid debating his profitable beliefs in public.
 Real science develops hypotheses that are falsifiable via testable predictions. AGW ISN'T FALSIFIABLE because it makes contradictory, changing predictions. More hurricanes (see Al Gore's movie cover) or fewer hurricanes (reality now attributed to AGW), more snow or less snow, warmer or cooler than average temperatures, etc. are all cited AFTER the fact as proof of AGW. There is no observation that AGW proponents will accept as refuting their belief. Predictive models created by warming proponents are consistently wrong:
Real science relies on skeptics to make progress. Many real scientists spend their careers try to disprove accepted wisdom. AGW, on the other hand, intimidates and SMEARS SKEPTICS as "non-believers", equating them to holocaust deniers and treating them more like the Church treated Galileo:http://business.financialpost....
 Real science grants awards for disproving accepted truths. AGW researchers, on the other hand, have a VESTED INTEREST in only one outcome. They can access billions of dollars in government money only while MMGW is perceived by the public as a threat to humanity:
 Real science has nothing to do with polls or consensus, but AGW proponents CONSTANTLY USE POLLS to defend their claims. Ironically, even when they use polls they have to spin their outcomes:
 Real science doesn't claim validity by citing the credentials of proponents. It respects only data and analysis, regardless of who is publishing it. Einstein was a little known patent office clerk when he overturned the consensus understanding of space and time in 1905 with Special Relativity. “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it’s wrong.”-Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize Physicist

   Real science keeps testing to remove bias and discard bad models. Einstein's Relativity is still being tested a century later. AGW ignores or HIDES DATA it doesn't like:

   Real science accepts that bad predictions imply bad hypotheses. When AGW predictions are wrong they don't question the hypothesis...they just change the predictions and REBRAND the movement.

   Real science never recommends that skeptics be JAILED:

   Real science doesn't create billionaires who get rich peddling untested theories.

   Real science tries to account for all interfering variables in studies. AGW simply ignores all the variables that have drastically impacted Earth's climate for billions of years unless those factors are needed to excuse faulty predictions.


Obama to Pledge Goals for UN Global Warming Treaty

The United States offered to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by more than quarter in a plan announced Tuesday, a move that is expected to bolster the chances that world leaders will agree on an international climate treaty this year.

The U.S. announced its commitment at the informal deadline for nations to submit their contributions to the United Nations. Although the goal of 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025 isn't new - President Barack Obama first unveiled it last year during a trip to Beijing - the U.S. proposal has drawn intense interest from the vast majority of countries that have yet to announce how deeply they'll pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions as part of the treaty.

"Today's action by the United States further demonstrates real momentum on the road to reaching a successful climate agreement this December in Paris and shows President Obama is committed to leading on the international stage," the White House said in a statement, adding that the cuts "roughly double the pace of carbon pollution reduction in the United States from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025."

Obama's pledge constitutes the opening offer by the U.S. as world leaders strive to reach a climate deal powerful and ambitious enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. In the works for years, the treaty is set to be finalized in Paris in December. If it's successful, it will mark the first time all nations - not just wealthier ones like the U.S. - will have agreed to do something about climate change.

Along with the United States, the European Union, Switzerland, Mexico, Norway and Russia have submitted their proposed cuts. China, the world's top emitter, and India are expected to submit theirs in the coming months.

What metrics the U.S. will use to back up its claims is not yet clear. The European Union, one of the first parties to submit its contribution, pointed to per capita reductions in emissions to show how it is cutting its carbon footprint. But emissions per capita are far higher in the U.S., making it an inconvenient measure for the U.S. to use to show progress.

Instead, the U.S. is expected to focus on the fact that the Obama administration has ramped up the rate of emissions reductions nearly twofold. Early in his presidency, Obama committed to cut U.S. emissions 17 percent by 2020; his subsequent goal for 2025 pushes it to 28 percent.

The U.S. and other developed countries have been aggressively pressing developing nations to step up on climate change - especially those like China and India that are heavily reliant on dirtier sources of energy. Obama has described his strategy as "leading by example" and has sought to use the steps he's already taken to cut emissions to ramp up pressure on other countries to do the same.

But poorer countries have traditionally balked, arguing their more modest means make reductions more of an imposition and pointing out that historically, they're responsible for just a small fraction of the heat-trapping gases that industrialized countries have been pumping into the atmosphere for decades. So when Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping both committed to curbing emissions in a joint announcement in November, environmentalists hailed it as a sign that reluctant nations like China were finally getting on board.

"People know that domestically, we're moving forward," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday at a luncheon hosted by Politico. She pointed to the U.S.-China pact as Exhibit A. "If the two biggest polluters and the two biggest greenhouse gas polluters can get together, and two biggest economies, then we're going to be OK moving into Paris, and we should have momentum behind our backs."

Although all nations were asked to submit their climate targets by the end-of-March target date, only a handful of countries are expected to meet it. In addition to the U.S., the EU and Switzerland, Mexico unveiled a pledge last week to cut greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants 25 percent by 2030, drawing praise from the White House and from environmental advocates.

How will the U.S. meet its goal? The Obama administration has avoided putting hard numbers on the size of emissions reductions it expects from specific steps the U.S. is taking. In its submission, the EU listed specific economic sectors - such as transportation, energy and manufacturing - where it expects major reductions, and named the specific greenhouse gases it plans to cut.

In contrast, the U.S. is expected to point broadly to the steps it is taking under the climate action plan Obama announced in 2013, such as new rules requiring sweeping cuts from new and existing power plants, stricter emissions limits for cars and trucks, and initiatives targeting specific greenhouse gases like methane and hydrofluorocarbons.

Many of those steps ordered by Obama face major legal challenges and intense political opposition, raising the risk that they could be undermined or even discarded once Obama leaves office in 2017. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the U.S. couldn't meet Obama's target even if his domestic climate plan were fully implemented.

"Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. federal government hasn't even signed off on the Clean Power Plan and 13 states have already pledged to fight it, our international partners should proceed with caution before entering into a binding, unattainable deal," McConnell said.

Environmentalists welcomed the U.S. move, saying it would send a signal to the rest of the world that the United States is serious about combating climate change.

"This important commitment sends a powerful message to the world: Together we can slash dangerous carbon pollution and combat climate change," Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. "This announcement builds on America's leadership that already is delivering notable breakthroughs, such as the recent commitments by China and Mexico to join the global effort. And that bodes well for a strong international commitment to fight climate change at the Paris conference in December."

Lou Leonard, the WWF's vice president for the climate change program, said the announcement "is a big deal."

"It signals that U.S. climate policy over the next decade will begin to line up with growing majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, as well as key business leaders, calling for climate action now," he said. "By developing this target based on existing authority, the United States is signaling that countries should have confidence it can deliver. To maintain that confidence, a strong final rule this summer to cut carbon pollution from new and existing power plants will be critical."


Wind farms in trouble in Australia

The article below sees that as a tragedy.  By any rational and fully informed  calculation, however, it is a Godsend for Australian public finances

Banco Santander, a major investor in renewable energy, will sell its only Australian wind farm and exit the local sector because of policy uncertainty that has dragged the industry into crisis.

Santander will seek a buyer for its 90 per cent stake in the 106.8 megawatt Taralga wind farm near Goulburn, which is not being included in the renewable energy fund it set up late last year with two Canadian pension giants because of the perceived poor prospects for the sector in Australia, say sources.

David Smith, executive director of Santander in Sydney, declined to comment.

Australia's renewable energy sector has been left in limbo by the political debate surrounding the country's 2020 renewable energy target. The government and Labor Opposition agree the 41,000GWh target for large-scale renewable energy needs to be reduced to suit the downturn in total power demand from the grid, but have been unable to agree on a compromise.

As of last week, the government was proposing a 2020 target of 32,000GWh, while Labor wants a target in the high 30,000GWh range. A compromise suggested by the Clean Energy Council at 33,500GWh, up from the current level of about 17,000GWh, has failed to find backing.

Investment in large-scale renewable energy collapsed by almost 90 per cent in 2014 as a result of the deadlock, which has been criticised by several large foreign investors in the local renewable energy sector, including GE, Spain's Fotowatio Renewable Venture and Infigen Energy cornerstone shareholder, the Children's Investment Fund. They have all warned of the harm to Australia's sovereign risk, which will deter long-term infrastructure investors.

In December, Santander struck a deal with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board in Canada to transfer its portfolio of renewable energy and water infrastructure assets into a new company owned equally by all three parties. But despite the partners having an appetite for other infrastructure assets in Australia, the wind farm was excluded from the $US2 billion-plus ($2.6 billion) portfolio of assets in the new company because of the uncertainty around the RET and the decision by the Coalition government to ditch the carbon tax, say sources close to the company.

The new company will, however, invest in Brazil and Mexico, which are seen as offering better prospects for renewable energy investors than Australia.

"It is quite clear that the uncertainty around the RET and other changes to policy that have occurred over the past few years has created a lot of uncertainty for investors in the renewable energy space," said Richard Pillinger at BlueNRGY LLC, which owns 10 per cent of the Taralga wind farm.

The Taralga wind farm, which has a 10-year contract to supply power to EnergyAustralia, was financed with about $280 million from Santander, CBD Energy, Danish export credit agency EKF, ANZ and the federal government's Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Production of electricity from the first of the 51 wind turbines began in December.

CBD Energy has since gone into administration and been acquired by US-based BlueNRGY LLC.

Santander is closing the Sydney office for its equity investment arm, which focuses on renewable energy, in mid-2015.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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